HANCOCK – Five members of Hancock City Council met Wednesday night for a regular meeting covering several town business.
By a vote of 5–0, the council approved the use of trash stickers in place of the city’s trash bags. City Manager Mary Babcock noted that the price of the city’s trash bags had risen about 27% over the past year and they had become harder and harder to find.
She also said the quality of these bags is inconsistent and residents have had problems with the bags tearing. She added that the town of Marquette switched to stickers and had no problems with the operation.
The city currently sells 13-gallon bags for $1 per bag and larger 33-gallon bags for $2 per bag. The new stickers will be priced at $10 for a sheet of 10 stickers and can be placed on any trash bag residents choose. Residents will need to purchase their own garbage bags to affix the stickers.
“Then residents can use their bags and just put a sticker on them. So whatever type of bag they would like to buy up to 35 gallons, they will be able to use it,” Babcock explained.
The city plans to use up its remaining inventory of bags before moving on to stickers.
The board then unanimously approved a mileage proposal from the Hancock Police Department for 0.8 mil – 0.80 cents per $1,000.00 – on the assessed value of all real and personal property for 15 years to generate revenue to hire an additional full-time agent.
Board approval means the mileage proposal will appear on the November 2022 ballot for voters to decide.
“For the past five or six years, every year the police have come to the city council and asked for an extra officer. Right now they are kind of at a breaking point,” said Babcock.
The department is in high demand and does not have the capacity to fill gaps resulting from training, sick leave and leave. The ministry has one part-time agent, but there are not enough other part-time agent candidates in the region.
“So that is going to be put to the voters to determine. This will create approximately $100,000 in tax revenue to support the police department, and that will be enough to take care of another officer to make our 24/7 service that we currently have sustainable,” Babcock continued.
The city is compiling information on this proposal and the additional cost to ratepayers that would result from the mileage. This information will be made available to residents prior to the November elections.
Finally, the council approved a request from the Department of Public Works (DPW) to purchase a new Vivax Vcam-6HD – a pipe inspection camera used for sewer maintenance work. This item was added to the agenda at the last minute, as the existing DPW camera had stopped working earlier in the day after around 15 years of use.
The next Hancock Town Council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4.